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June, 2009:

Smoking to be banned in cars with kids – The West Australian

The West Australian, June 22, 2009

Places where smoking is prohibited in NSW will soon include cars, if any of their passengers are under the age of 16.

Billboards and print advertisements will start appearing this weekend to remind drivers and smokers of new government regulations aimed at protecting children from tobacco smoke.

The new laws come into effect on July 1.

“The advertisements will hammer home the message that from July 1, drivers and smokers will be banned from smoking in cars when a child or passenger under the age of 16 is present,” Minister assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer) Jodi McKay said in a statement on Saturday.

“Any driver or passenger who is caught violating this new law could attract a $250 on-the-spot fine from NSW Police.”

Stafford Saunders, who co-ordinates a coalition of pressure groups called Protecting Children from Tobacco, says exposure to second hand smoke can greatly increase the risk of childhood asthma.

“(It can also) lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as coughing and wheezing,” he said.

The new laws do not just include banning smoking in cars if passengers are under the age of 16.

In addition, retailers will be required to store all tobacco products out of sight.

Retailers who employ more than 50 people will have six months to comply and other retailers will have 12 months from July 1, 2009.

Fighting Big Tobacco

Mark O’Neill, SCMP – Jun 22, 2009

Mainland Anti-cigarette Campaigners Want to Scrap The State Tobacco Monopoly But Find Little Support for Their Cause

In a rare challenge to one of the mainland’s most powerful institutions, a scholar has proposed the scrapping of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration and allowing private companies to compete on an equal basis in this lucrative sector. Zou Fangbin, an economics professor at the Guangdong University of Business Studies, says the monopoly discriminates against smokers and tobacco farmers, gives excessive wages and benefits to STMA officials, and encourages corruption and smuggling.

Established in January 1984, the STMA is one of the two biggest cigarette producers in the world, with Altria – the parent company of Philip Morris – in terms of sales revenue.

Its assets are more than double those of Altria, at more than US$76 billion, and it is the country’s biggest taxpayer, providing about 9 per cent of central government revenue.
China is produces and consumes the most tobacco in the world, with 350 million smokers, one-third of the global total. More than a million Chinese die each year – one every two seconds – from smoking-related diseases.

After 30 years of economic reform, a monopoly like STMA is a dinosaur. In other sectors dominated by the state, such as aviation, petrochemicals and telecoms, different state companies compete with one another, and private capital, domestic and foreign, is allowed.
Professor Zou said the current system was unfair to consumers and farmers. Farmers have to pay a 20 per cent tax on their tobacco leaf, while other farm taxes were abolished in 2006. Legally obliged to sell to STMA, they also have no bargaining power.

Consumers, equally, have to pay the high prices set by the STMA and have no choice. “Most smokers are addicted to cigarettes. The market is not flexible,” said Professor Zou.

“If there is a state monopoly in a sector, it will have a great opportunity for profit. STMA is like that. The money goes into the pockets of powerful officials, and excessive wages and benefits for STMA employees, and offers the chance for corruption. Corruption and unfair distribution of income are sources of great discontent among people.”

Such a monopoly and rule by administrative decrees lead to inefficiencies and limit competition. They also promote smuggling, of foreign cigarettes into China and domestic brands that are exported tax-free and then imported.

Officials of STMA’s head office in Beijing declined comment.

The STMA empire has more than 500,000 employees in more than 1,000 companies across 33 provinces. It is using its wealth to consolidate its member firms into conglomerates that can be internationally competitive.

In 2007, it set up an international division, to acquire foreign companies and set up new factories abroad. It exports about 15 billion cigarettes a year.

The slogan on its website is: “Raising the interests of the state and of the consumer.”
The site carries news items about improving the environmental awareness of its employees, donations by its companies to charities, successes in combating fake products, and improvements in technology and product security.

One report describes a 15-year strategy that runs until 2020, to improve the efficiency, safety and technical quality of its plants, to increase its competitiveness and maintain a healthy and stable development. It presents itself as an institution that expects to flourish for decades to come.

Chen Xieming, a business consultant in Shanghai, said that while Professor Zou’s proposal had economic merits, the government would not follow it.

“Beijing regards tobacco, like munitions or printing money, as sectors that must remain state monopolies. The money it generates is vital to the central government, which takes 80 per cent of tobacco tax, with 20 per cent going to local governments,” he said.

“Foreign models that collect tax from the sale of cigarettes are not applicable, since taxes are so hard to collect in China. Only by a monopoly of the entire process can Beijing guarantee the income.

“The interests involved are too powerful. Even among reformists within the government, there is no lobby to end the monopoly. As the Chinese saying goes, `If you cut the source of a person’s revenue, it is like killing his parents.'”

Judith Mackay, a Hong Kong doctor who has been campaigning against the tobacco industry for more than 25 years, said it was good that someone had proposed ending the STMA’s monopoly, especially if it led to debate.

“There are many pros and cons with regard to a nationalised or private tobacco industry. Traditionally, the national monopolies tend to advertise and promote less and are less aggressive about denying the health hazards or of opposing national tobacco-control action. But these distinctions are being blurred: for example, the Chinese tobacco companies sometimes advertise, where they can,” she said.

One of the best-known anti-tobacco campaigners in the mainland is Yang Gonghuan, deputy director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the Ministry of Health.
“The issue is not the monopoly but the separation of the government from the tobacco producers, as demanded by the World Health Organisation,” she said.

“How can someone supervise an industry in which he has a financial stake?”
She referred to article five, section three of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Beijing has signed: it took effect on January 1.

It states: “In setting and implementing their public-health policies with respect to tobacco control, parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.”

In other words, the commercial and regulatory arms of the industry must be separate. China is the only one of the 164 signatories to the convention to have such a state monopoly.

For Dr Yang and other anti-tobacco campaigners, the key issue is public health, rather than the monopoly.

In its latest report on tobacco, published on May 31, Dr Yang’s centre said the STMA was not implementing regulations set out by WHO convention.

“Scientific evidence has shown that warning pictures on cigarette packets are one of the most effective ways to control the spread of tobacco, and more effective than traditional health education. Each year China produces 100 billion packets. If each had a health warning, this would be the biggest propaganda to control smoking,” it said.

Article 11 of the convention says pictures should be used as part of the health warnings on packets.

But packets on the mainland carry no picture and the health warning is in small letters, half in Chinese and half in English, a language most smokers do not understand. Packets of the same brand sold in Hong Kong or abroad do carry a picture warning.

“A survey of 16,000 smokers in 20 provinces found that 70 per cent do not understand the risk to health from smoking and do not want to quit,” the report said. “They are willing to give nicely wrapped cigarettes as gifts, a percentage that rises to 80 per cent among sick people and those who work in the government.

“Even among people who live in cities and are well educated, and including doctors, many do not understand the health risk posed by smoking.

“Therefore, using the platform of the cigarette packet to design an effective warning is an extremely important method of conveying the risk.”

KPMG Conflicting Reports

James Middleton – CTA – 21 June 09

KPMG Hong Kong discounted the ‘once a week pub brigade’ in their survey produced to Legco which was considering the anti smoking legislation

Legislative Council

LC Paper No. CB(2)491/02-03

18. Mr Thomas Stanley of KPMG replied that he could not give an answer to Ms HO’s first question, as the customers who indicated that they would eat and drink out less often when the smoking ban was in place were not asked whether they intended to do so on a short-term or long-term basis. As regards Ms HO’s second question, Mr Stanley said that including people who never set foot in restaurants, cafes, bars and food and beverage outlets in hotels in the survey would not significantly alter the existing findings, as the number of people from this group who would patronise catering venues when the smoking ban was in place would be a very negligible number. Ms HO queried the validity of Mr Stanley’s reply to her second question, as it could not be assumed that people who presently did not dine and drink out would continue to do so after the implementation of the smoking ban if no studies had been made to find out the reasons why they presently did not set foot in catering venues.
Whereas KPMG UK found they were the most significant factor set to make the difference
“The key group of people within the survey is the ‘once a week brigade’.

KPMG: Smoking ban to boost pub company profits
Industries 10 November 2004

Increased custom from the ‘once a week’ pub-goer looks set to make the difference
Despite fears to the contrary, pub landlords seem set to profit from a smoking ban being introduced into pubs, according to new survey data released today.

The survey, undertaken by YouGov on behalf of professional services firm KPMG, shows that people who normally visit pubs infrequently will visit more often with a ban in place, while more regular pub-goers are unlikely to be discouraged from going as a result of a ban.

Over 2100 people took part in the on-line YouGov survey, of whom a quarter were smokers. Sixty-four percent of respondents were in favour of a ban with only 26% firmly against. Of those survey respondents who do visit pubs, 27% believe they will go more often with a ban in place, 19% would visit less often with 54% unconcerned by the issue.

Commenting on the results, David Matthews, Head of Drinks at KPMG, said: “The key group of people within the survey is the ‘once a week brigade’. Representing 56% of the survey base, they are the single largest group within the survey and thus have the most clout. Sixty-five percent of them are in favour of a smoking ban and 29% believe they would visit pubs more often if a ban was introduced. Even when balanced against an anticipated small loss of trade amongst more regular pub-goers, this indicates that landlords and pub companies will benefit from a net increase in trade.”

“The net increase in profits may not be a huge amount but it will come as an unexpected bonus for those involved in the pub trade who may have thought that a smoking ban could only have a detrimental effect on their business.”

Amongst those people who visit pubs two or three times a week, 25% are likely to visit less often with a ban in place yet 22% would visit more often. As for the true pub regulars (more than three visits per week) 24% would visit less often with a ban in place but 20% would step up their attendance even further. This represents a small net trading deficit in both instances but as these two groups only make up 20% of the total survey database, that deficit is easily off-set by the increased custom amongst those who visit just once a week.

The survey also highlights how a smoking ban would even be sufficient to convince habitual non-pub goers into visiting at some point. Around a quarter of the people surveyed claim they never visit pubs yet 40% of that same group would be more inclined to visit if a ban was in place.

Further good news for pub landlords comes in the results of whether people would be inclined to spend longer in a pub, on average, per visit if a ban was in place. Twenty-seven percent of people believe they would stay in the pub longer, compared to 20% who believe their visits would be shorter because of a ban.

David Matthews continued: “The stats on increasing average visit times may not come as a real surprise as a smoking ban is always going to make a pub a more attractive venue to many people. However, combined with the efforts which some pub companies are making to encourage responsible drinking and to eliminate binge drinking, a ban should be sufficient to see a whole new wave of customers coming through pub doors – and staying for longer.”
“Pub companies may not be the only ones to benefit. Of those people who believe they would spend less time in pubs due to a ban, just over half of them believe that their alcoholic consumption levels would not fall as a result. Assuming they’re not simply spending the same amount of money in a pub – just in shorter visits – then their custom will be transferred to off-licenses and supermarkets. The purchases may subsequently be consumed at home but at least these people’s spending power is not being lost to the drinks industry as a whole.”

Other findings of the survey include:
§ Only 59% of smokers were against a smoking ban. Twenty-five percent were actually in favour;
§ Forty-nine percent of people visiting pubs more than once a week are in favour of a ban, compared to 65% amongst the ‘once a week’ group and 70% of those who don’t visit pubs;
§ You can’t please all of the people all of the time: 49% of non-smokers who never go to pubs would still not be enticed in by the prospect of a ban.

Media enquiries: Please contact Simon Griffiths (KPMG Corporate Communications) on 0121 232 3760 or 07887 657919 or at

Notes to Editors:
KPMG is the global network of professional services firms who provide audit, tax and advisory services.
KPMG LLP operates from 22 offices across the UK with 9,000 partners and staff.
KPMG recorded a UK fee income of £1,008 million in the year ended September 2003.
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is the UK member firm of KPMG International, a Swiss cooperative.

In 2001 KPMG Hong Kong was engaged by the Hong Kong Catering Industry Association to report on how a proposed smoking ban in Hong Kong restaurants would affect business. The report predicted multi billion dollar losses and loss of jobs in the Hong Kong catering industry. This has been proven to be completely wrong (by a massive margin of +40%) by HK Government Census and Statistics department data. However an exemption period was granted to the bars, mahjong parlours, nightclubs and karaoke establishments until July 01 2009.

Public money paid for this KPMG Hong Kong report.

The Government must investigate why the consultants got it so wrong and whether tobacco money was paid through the HK Catering Industry Association to fund this report.
Whereas when the KPMG client was the City of Ottawa in the same timeframe it found completely differently:
KPMG LLP was engaged by the City of Ottawa to provide assistance in the ongoing
monitoring of the economic and health impacts of the smoke free by laws covering public places and places of work that went into effect August 01, 2001
December 2001 KPMG report
The first KPMG report, The Economic Impact Analysis of the No-Smoking Bylaw on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa was released December 2001. It discussed factors taken into considering when trying to gauge the exact economic impact of the smoking bylaws, which included September 11/01, tourism trends, and the general economic climate. The first report found no evidence that the bylaws had a negative economic impact on the hospitality sector. Some other findings were:

Employment in the Ottawa accommodation and food service sector rose 6.5 percent from June to October (from 22,800 to 24,300) despite the decline in total employment from 585,500 to 566,900 (a decline of 18,600 or 3.1 percent).

Employment Insurance claims in the accommodation and food service industries declined by 5 percent in August 2001 compared to August 2000 and by 9 percent in October over a year previous. Claims increased by 1 percent in September 2001 relative to a year earlier.
Bankruptcy and insolvency statistics for restaurants were lower for the period August to November than they had been the last 2 years (7 versus 12 last year and 8 in 1999). Two tavern, bar or nightclub operations underwent insolvency procedures this year, versus 1 last year and 2 in 1999.

The number of bars and taverns by the end of 2000 was 122. By June 2001, the number had climbed to 130, a 6.5% increase over six months

November 2002 KPMG report
As a follow-up to its December 2001 report, KPMG was asked by the City of Ottawa to conduct a second study, focused exclusively on Ottawa bars and pubs, in order to determine if they were adversely affected as a sub-sector. The decision to proceed with the second study followed allegations by PUBCO (an association of pubs and bars opposed to Ottawa ‘s smoking bylaws) that the impact on bars and pubs is much greater than the impact on restaurants, and would be hidden in sector-wide examinations of economic impacts.

After consultation and developing the study methodology with PUBCO and the Ottawa chapter of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA), KPMG attempted to carry out this survey in March-May 2002, but was unable to obtain responses from a sufficient number of identified bars and pubs in order to produce statistically valid results. ( Click here to access the letter from KPMG to Ottawa ‘s Medical Officer of Health which describes the methodology and lack of cooperation by bar and pubs). The high refusal rate raised the question of why bars and pubs allegedly losing money as a result of Ottawa ‘s bylaws would not wish to provide economic data proving the allegation, and called into question PUBCO’s assertions of economic loss in this sector.

Despite the low number of survey responses, the second KPMG report, Economic Impact Analysis of the Smoke-Free Bylaws on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa, (“This suggests the smoke free by law has had little or no negative impact on the industry as a whole”)
was made public on November 2002. Because only 51 bars and pubs out of the 150 sample submitted sales tax receipts and some bars with increased sales did not respond to the survey, no conclusion could be drawn regarding whether or not the smoking bylaws have had any economic impact on bars and pubs in Ottawa .

Instead, the second KPMG report discussed the many factors that have affected the Ottawa business climate over the year prior to the release of the November 2002 report. Factors such as the high-tech industry crash and corresponding layoffs, decreased tourism and business travel following September 11/01, increased consumption of liquor and decreased consumption of beer, and changing customer preferences are factors when taken together or separately, have had more impact on the hospitality industry than the smoking bylaws in isolation.

However, KPMG noted that overall, the hospitality sector in Ottawa continued to grow, with 90 establishments closing since the bylaws were implemented and 123 establishments opening, resulting in approximately 1,600 licensed establishments, and an increase in 33 new restaurants and bars opening over the last year. The growth in numbers of new establishments indicates a healthy hospitality sector, despite changes in consumer preferences and normal turnover fluctuations. Furthermore, Employment Insurance applications significantly decreased since May 2002.

KPMG finally concluded: “in the overall economic context, the food and beverage industry appears to be stronger than one would expect. This suggests the smoke-free bylaw has had little or no negative impact on the industry as a whole.”

As of March 2003, 181 new bars and restaurants have opened in Ottawa since August 2001. For a list of establishments, and the accompanying press release from the office of Ottawa City Councillor Dwight Eastman, contact OCAT.

In June 2003, the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit released a study that showed Smoking Ban Has No Impact on Food, Drink Sales: U of T Research

Cigarette Tax Rise To Bring In 30 Billion Yuan

Reuters – Jun 21, 2009

Beijing has increased tax on cigarettes by between 6 per cent and 11 per cent to tap additional revenue for future government spending.

The tax rise took effect from the beginning of May, and a new tax of 5 per cent was also imposed on cigarette wholesalers, the China State Administration of Taxation said on its website.

“This is to appropriately increase the government’s fiscal revenue and also to perfect the cigarette taxing system,” it said.

The tax has not yet been passed on to smokers.

The mainland rolled out a massive 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.54 trillion) stimulus package late last year to bolster the third largest economy from falling into a deep recession.

The central government has to earmark about 1.18 trillion yuan for the package while the rest will come from local governments and bank loans.

“With government spending rising rapidly while fiscal revenue dips continuously, we are concerned about how to fund future costs,” an official from the tax administration said.
He estimated that the cigarette tax rise would add about 30 billion yuan of extra revenue to central government coffers.

“We know that the added size is not huge.

“But looking around, there is not much we can do to enhance our fiscal revenue,” said the official, who declined to be named.

The mainland’s combined central and local government revenues in the first five months totalled 2.71 trillion yuan, a fall of 6.7 per cent from the same period last year. Nationwide fiscal spending hit 460.8 billion yuan last month, an increase of 14.5 per cent, the Finance Ministry has said.

It said the economic slowdown and tax cuts were the underlying factors behind the fall in fiscal revenue in the January-May period.

The government estimates that there are 350 million smokers in the country. About 60 per cent of Chinese men and 3 per cent of women smoke.

Tobacco kills 1.2 million Chinese each year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Ban Smoking In Cars With Children

sources: ,

Adults should be banned from smoking in cars when children are passengers, the new head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has said.

In a BBC News website Scrubbing Up column, Professor Terence Stephenson, said children deserved protection.

“You can’t inflict this on your colleagues any more. Why should we treat our children’s health as a lower priority?” he said.

A Department of Health spokesman said it would review smoking laws next year. Professor Stephenson,

who recently took over as head of the college, said children should not have to breathe in their parents’ cigarette smoke.

“Why on earth would you light up in your car whilst your children are sitting happily in the back? “On the assumption that you wouldn’t pass the packet round and invite the kids to light up, why make them breathe tobacco smoke at all?”

He said the Canadian province of New Brunswick, California, South Australia and Cyprus had already introduced such legislation successfully.
And Professor Stephenson said second-hand smoke had been linked to chest infections, asthma and ear problems in children.

‘Impractical suggestion’
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), backed a complete ban on smoking in vehicles.

“Cars are small tin boxes, with not much air in them.

“Smoking just one cigarette, even with the window open, creates a greater concentration of second-hand smoke than a whole evening’s smoking in a pub or a bar.

“That’s not just bad for children but for adults too, especially those who already have heart or lung diseases.”

And a spokeswoman for the road safety charity, Brake, said smoking while driving meant people were not concentrating on the road.

“All that can add up to not having proper control of your vehicle or dangerous driving.”
She said it might be useful to have a law banning smoking in the same way there was in force regarding

using hand-held mobile phones.

But Neil Rafferty, Scottish spokesman for Forest, the pro-smokers’ rights group, said: “We don’t think that children should be exposed to smoke in a car but a ban would be a waste of police and court time.
“Would it be OK if you opened the sunroof or a window while smoking? It’s an impractical suggestion.
“People like those at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health should be more realistic about what is possible.”
A Department of Health spokesman said it would look at whether current anti-smoking laws needed to be extended.
He added: “We would always strongly recommend that people do not smoke in cars, especially those used to transport children.”



Drivers who smoke at the wheel to be hit with £60 fine and three penalty points


Last updated at 01:09 29 September 2007

Drivers who smoke at the wheel could face prosecution

Drivers who smoke at the wheel could face prosecution under changes to the Highway Code.

Lighting-up at the wheel has been added to the list of “distractions” which police and lawyers can cite in court when seeking a conviction for a traffic offence.

It joins eating and drinking, “inserting a cassette or CD or tuning a radio”, “arguing with your passengers or other road users”, trying to read maps, and – even playing loud music – most, if not all, of which have featured in successful prosecutions.

Read more…

High-profile cases have involved motorists eating apples, Kit-Kats and sausage rolls.

Up to one in four UK adults smoke, which could mean more than eight million of the nation’s 33 million motorists are at risk.

Brian James, road traffic chairman of the Magistrates Association, said that although the code carries no legal force, failure to observe its advice could be used as evidence that an offence had been committed.

The new Highway Code, the first for eight years, has increased in size by about 50 per cent and contains 29 more rules. There is also a new section for novice drivers.

Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, said last night: “The Highway Code is the definitive guide to safe and lawful road use.

“It has grown since 1931 from 18 pages to 135, reflecting the complexities of modern motoring.

A major change is the inclusion of smoking at the wheel as behaviour that police may interpret as a distraction and failure to be in proper control of the vehicle.

“It can – and no doubt will – be used in court as corroborating evidence.”

A recent report by academics at Brunel University warned that car crashes could rise as the ban on smoking in public places leads more people to take a drag at the wheel.

It said smokers drive 23 per cent faster and are more inconsistent than non-smokers.

The report for insurance company Privilege reinforced growing calls for smoking while driving top be made a criminal offence like using a mobile phone, which now attracts three penalty points and a £60 fine.

Supporters say holding a cigarette is equally dangerous.

The code’s new section for novice drivers tells them:

– If you are driving with passengers, you are responsible for their safety;

– Don’t let them distract you or encourage you to take risks;

– Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly.

• Only one in 20 accidents are caused by drivers breaking the speed limit, Government figures showed yesterday.

A failure to look properly at the road and traffic is a bigger reason. It was a contributory factor in more than a third of accidents and one in five deaths last year, according to the Transport Department.

A major change is the code’s inclusion of smoking at the wheel as behaviour that police may interpret as a distraction and failure to be in proper control of the vehicle. This addition will polarise drivers’ opinions both for and against.”

What are these changes to the Highway Code?

  • smoking behind the wheel is a breach of the rules of the road and could be seen as a ‘distraction’
  • new safety code for novice drivers, which includes ‘don’t show off or compete with other drivers’
  • updates on vehicle emissions information
  • new traffic calming initiatives explained: quiet lanes, high-occupancy vehicle lanes and home zones
  • advice on the stopping powers of Highway Agency Traffic Officers
  • an explanation of the law on smoking in company cars

In the UK and elsewhere work vehicles are classified as workplaces – why does Hong Kong not follow this sensible law ?

  • Failing to prevent smoking in smoke-free vehicles
  • 2. The following persons are under a duty corresponding to that in section 8(1) of the Act to cause any person who is smoking in a smoke-free vehicle to stop smoking—
  • (a) the driver;
  • (b) any person with management responsibilities for the vehicle; and
  • (c) any person on a vehicle who is responsible for order or safety on it.

PART 3 Vehicles

Enclosed vehicles

11.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation, an enclosed vehicle and any enclosed part of a vehicle is smoke-free if it is used—

(a) by members of the public or a section of the public (whether or not for reward or hire); or

(b) in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person (even if those persons use the vehicle at different times, or only intermittently).

(2) A vehicle or part of a vehicle is enclosed for the purposes of paragraph (1) where it is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof and by any door or window that may be opened.

(3) Except where paragraph (4) applies, “roof” in paragraph (2) includes any fixed or moveable structure or device which is capable of covering all or part of the vehicle, including any canvas, fabric or other covering.

(4) In relation to a vehicle that is engaged in conveying persons, “roof” does not include any fixed or moveable structure or device which is completely stowed away so that it does not cover all or any part of the vehicle.

(5) A vehicle is not used in the course of paid or voluntary work for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) where it is used primarily for the private purposes of a person who—

(a) owns it; or

(b) has a right to use it which is not restricted to a particular journey.

(6) This regulation applies to all vehicles other than—

(a) aircraft; or

(b) ships or hovercraft in respect of which regulations could be made under section 85 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995(6) (safety and health on ships), including that section as applied by any Order in Council under section 1(1)(h) of the Hovercraft Act 1968(7) or to persons on any such ships or hovercraft.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Health

Unlikely Partners in a Cause

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Late last week, just after the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over the deadliest legal product known to man — cigarettes — Steven C. Parrish sent an e-mail message to David A. Kessler.
“Congratulations on the Senate vote today,” he wrote. “Truly historic and it WILL save lives. You were a pioneer; I only wish I had been there with you at the beginning. Better late than never, I guess.”

To which Dr. Kessler replied, “Congratulations to you — you were key.”

Yes, I know: it sounds like a perfectly ordinary exchange after the passage of a piece of legislation. I’m sure hundreds of people who were part of the effort to regulate tobacco over the years sent one another similar messages.

But what made this exchange a touch extraordinary was the particular people involved. David Kessler is a former commissioner of the F.D.A. and a fierce, lifelong enemy of tobacco companies. (He is now a professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.) Steve Parrish is a former tobacco executive who spent years fighting Dr. Kessler until he had a change of heart, and then helped persuade his company, Philip Morris, to support F.D.A. regulation. (The name was changed to Altria in 2003.) Since 2000, in large part because of Mr. Parrish, Philip Morris has backed — and lobbied for — tobacco regulation.

This coming week, perhaps as early as Monday, President Obama will sign the bill into law, bringing tobacco products under federal control for the first time. Given the speed with which the bill flew through Congress this time around — the Senate vote was 79 to 17, while the House vote was 307 to 97 — the legislation seemed to have an air of inevitability about it.

But as Matthew L. Myers, the head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told me this week, that inevitability “was a long time coming.” Over the course of the last 15 years, an idea that was once viewed as highly controversial, even a little outlandish — and that struggled to get a toehold in Congress — gradually came to be viewed as conventional wisdom. Although the F.D.A. bill still has its critics, who fear that the agency will be overwhelmed by the tobacco companies, and that it doesn’t go far enough to eradicate smoking, they are in the small minority. Most people now view the regulation of cigarettes as a demonstrably good thing.

And it is. Under the new law, the F.D.A. will be able to mandate a reduction in nicotine levels, for instance. New products that claim to reduce the harm from cigarettes will have to go through a rigorous scientific review process. The agency will usher in bigger, more graphic warning labels and tougher advertising restrictions. Besides, in a country that regulates everything from lipstick to beer, how can it possibly make sense to take a hands-off attitude with a product that kills some 400,000 people a year and to which a fifth of the population is addicted? This year, over 1,000 public health groups backed the bill. That is a far greater consensus than existed even a few years ago.

And while a great deal of credit goes to Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts — both of whom devoted years to getting the legislation passed — there were also these three others, strange bedfellows for sure, who were critical in making cigarette regulation come to pass: Dr. Kessler, Mr. Parrish and Mr. Myers. Take a bow, fellas.

Our story begins in the mid-1990s when the country was in the midst of the tobacco wars. State attorneys general were suing Big Tobacco for billions of dollars. Documents were being released almost daily that exhumed the industry’s reprehensible behavior. Secret negotiations led to a 1997 settlement with the Clinton administration — a deal that would have included, for the first time, federal regulation of tobacco products. But the proposed settlement derailed once it went to Congress because legislators refused to give tobacco companies the litigation relief that had been part of the original deal.
Even before then, however, Dr. Kessler had concluded that the F.D.A. didn’t need Congress’s approval to regulate tobacco. Using the novel — but quite reasonable — theory that cigarettes were “drug delivery devices,” Dr. Kessler claimed that the F.D.A. already had legal authority over tobacco products. (The drug in question, of course, was nicotine, the addictive ingredient in tobacco.)

As it turns out, Dr. Kessler was wrong to interpret the law that way. The tobacco companies fought his effort all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled by a 5-to-4 vote in 2000 that only Congress could give the agency authority over cigarettes. Despite the loss — and despite the fact that Dr. Kessler was gone from the agency by early 1997 — the idea of regulating tobacco was now on the table. And it wasn’t about to go away.

Mr. Parrish was one of the tobacco company executives who fought Dr. Kessler and the F.D.A.; indeed, as a senior vice president for Philip Morris, then, as now, the country’s biggest tobacco company, he pretty much led the charge, publicly denouncing Mr. Kessler as a “neo-prohibitionist.”

But even before the Supreme Court made its ruling, Mr. Parrish had come to the conclusion that the tobacco industry needed to be regulated, something he began to talk to Dr. Kessler about even before he went public. There has always been a great deal of skepticism about Philip Morris’ about-face — critics fear that its overwhelming market share could well be locked in by new marketing and advertising restrictions, for instance — but Mr. Parrish has always insisted that market share wasn’t what motivated him.

Rather, he said, it was his strong belief that federal regulation “could completely transform the industry.” In particular, Mr. Parrish believed that F.D.A. regulation could help push the industry to innovate — coming up with cigarettes, or cigarettelike products, that were less lethal. Indeed, Altria has built a $350 million research facility aimed at coming up with less harmful products. And last September, it bought UST, a leading smokeless tobacco company, for $10.4 billion — and smokeless tobacco is far less harmful than cigarettes. But because the tobacco industry has zero credibility, only the F.D.A. would have the moral authority to make health claims, based on real science, about smokeless products versus cigarettes.

Whatever its motives, Philip Morris threw its weight behind the legislation. Though it failed to pass twice in the last half-dozen years, the company’s support made a huge difference in bringing around Republicans who saw that tobacco companies were no longer unanimous in their resistance to federal regulation.

And then there was Mr. Myers. Back in 1997, he had been party to the secret negotiations between the tobacco companies and the Clinton administration. When word of his involvement leaked out, there was a furor in the public health community — because it was part of the public health dogma that its side should never, ever consort with a tobacco company.

That dogma never really went away. But Mr. Myers is both a realist and a pragmatist. Ever since that proposed settlement collapsed, his chief legislative goal has been to get the tobacco companies regulated by the F.D.A. If Altria wanted to support the legislation, that could only help. For sure, it meant that Altria would have a seat at the table as the bill was being hashed out.

But most of what Altria wanted — an insistence, for example, that the F.D.A. not be able to outlaw cigarettes entirely — was likely to have been in there in any case. Any bill that didn’t contain such a provision would be open to accusations that it would lead to a new era of prohibition. Even Senator Kennedy and Representative Waxman wanted that in the bill.

The hard part was overcoming suspicions elsewhere in the public health community that the whole thing was some kind of deceptive Philip Morris plot. One reason the bill died in 2004 was the huge division in the public health community over Philip Morris’s support. Even Dr. Kessler worried at the time that if Philip Morris was in favor of the bill, then there must be something he and the rest of the public health community weren’t seeing.

So for years, Mr. Myers had to walk a delicate line, trashing Philip Morris publicly while quietly taking advantage of Mr. Parrish’s support and connections on Capitol Hill to move the bill forward — without ever acknowledging that help. And all the while he had to persuade the rest of the public health community of something that should have been obvious: if it was a good bill, why should they be concerned that Philip Morris supported it? All that mattered was the result: cigarettes would be regulated.
A year ago March, Mr. Parrish left Altria after the company spun off Philip Morris International. It moved its headquarters to Richmond, where the company manufactures cigarettes. Truth be told, there are plenty of executives in Richmond, old-line tobacco men, who wish Mr. Parrish had never had his conversion, and that the company had never backed tobacco regulation.

Perhaps that explains why this year, with Mr. Parrish no longer on the scene, Altria executives said almost nothing in public in support of the bill, other than issuing a dutiful press release or two. Periodically there were rumors that the company was planning to turn its back on the bill. But that never happened, and I have it on good authority that the possibility was never discussed in Richmond. Because of Mr. Parrish’s efforts in previous years, there was simply no way Altria could come out against the bill.
When the signing ceremony takes place next week, Mr. Kessler and Mr. Myers will both be in attendance, where they will no doubt receive well-deserved congratulations. As a former tobacco executive, Mr. Parrish has not been invited. So his role will be underplayed, just as it was when he was working on behalf of the bill.

He shrugged when I asked him about this slight. “The name of the game was getting the bill, not getting credit,” he said. He didn’t sound the least bit disappointed.

Ban Smoking, But Don’t Rewrite History

Alex Lo, SCMP – Jun 18, 2009

In Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister, there is one of those immortaL moments about smoking in literature. A seemingly prim and prudish young woman is about to hire gumshoe Philip Marlowe for a job but, sensing the kind of man she is about to employ, she expresses her strong disapproval for alcohol and tobacco. To which Marlowe replies: “Would it be all right
if I peeled an orange?”

Today, that femme fatale would be the tobacco-banning state, and anti-smoking campaigners. Personal disapproval has become the law. As if we need reminding, the new French biopic Coco Before Chanel has left France’s advertising watchdogs fuming.

And, faster than you can ask why, their Hong Kong counterparts have joined the bandwagon. Their objection is not so much targeted at the movie, but at an offending poster, featuring actress Audrey Tautou who plays Coco and was pictured in silk pyjamas holding a cigarette. That object of scorn has now been air-brushed away in Paris and Hong Kong. Apparently, any display of a tobacco product qualifies as a tobacco ad, which is illegal in our city. So the poster is not only immoral – for promoting smoking – but potentially illegal.

That seems to go against common sense. A display of tobacco products does not automatically mean tobacco promotion; that should depend on context. But one can hardly expect politically correct campaigners to worry about context and nuance.

It was a show of independence and freedom for young sophisticated women to smoke and drink in public, and wear clothes designed by Chanel, during the Jazz Age. It was so in Paris, New York and Shanghai. Chanel herself was frequently photographed holding a cigarette. For Tautou to hold a cigarette in her role as Chanel was not artistic licence but authenticity.

Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful for anti-smoking campaigners. All things considered, a smoke-free society is better than one full of smokers. But, then again, a completely vice-free society would be a utopia; it is not a place I want to call home. Smoking causes cancer and heart diseases; it kills. Health authorities make sure smokers make this connection every time
they buy a pack complete with gruesome clinical pictures.

Somehow, I draw much pleasanter associations. I have not smoked since university, decades ago. But, while I was in college, my best friend Brady and I used to smoke everything – legal or not. That was when we learned much of western literature and philosophy would not be what they are if many of their heroes had been non-smokers.

But for a picture I spotted in a bookstore of a beautiful and intense-looking Hannah Arendt bending over a table with her hand extended, holding a cigarette, I would never have read any of her great political books.

For millions of people, smoking delights and consoles, relaxes and stimulates. Lighting up can be a privileged private moment to puncture the tedium of everyday life. They are what Arendt calls moments of being, or being-for-oneself. They can also be being-for-others, when one offers a cigarette as a show of friendship or friendliness.

French existentialism would not have taken off if its adherents had been barred from smoking in Parisian cafes, as the City of Light does now. Can you imagine a non-smoking Jean-Paul Sartre or Albert Camus? In her old age, Arendt became a close friend of the poet W.H. Auden – two life-long compulsive smokers finding solace in each other during their twilight years. There was a classic photo of a young Auden in a suit, shoulder forward, head bent, lighting up. I am sure Arendt would still have achieved her insights into totalitarianism and much else if she had never smoked. Auden would still have written his poetry as a non-smoker – or may be not.

“Lay your sleeping head, my love
Human on my faithless arm.”

I can’t imagine a smoke-free Auden penning that classical iambic poem, seven syllables for every heartbreaking line.

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the Post.

Statistics on Dutiable Commodities Seized

17 Jun 09 –

HK cigarette smuggling Seizures Cases Slightly Up (9.1% Above 2008) After Tax Increase But Also Due To Increased Allocated Manpower By Customs Dept

How Tobacco Ages

Try this- see how you age by smoking Take a look at how you will look after a few too many cigarettes. This computer simulation will let you upload your own picture and add the realistic effects of smoking

FDA Wrinkles Its Nose At Electric Cigs

BY MATT EHLERS, –  Tue, Jun. 16, 2009

As the government tightens regulations on tobacco and smoking, some people have found a new way to get their nicotine fix without smoke and ash: electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine that users inhale along with a nearly odorless vapor-mist that mimics smoke, are practically unregulated and have not been rigorously tested in the United States. That doesn’t faze users such as David Moss.

Moss, 55, smoked traditional cigarettes for 40 years, but quit about six months ago after discovering a battery-operated version that provides the nicotine his body craves without the tar-filled smoke.

Moss, who lives in Durham and once smoked three packs a day, wasn’t bothered by the lack of studies on the e-cigarette.

“It’s unproven,” he said, “but I have no fear because I’m not smoking cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes are available online as well as in a number of gas stations and at least one mall in the Triangle.

Earlier this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began cracking down on the import of the devices, stopping shipments at the border. Most e-cigarettes are manufactured in China.

“Basically, we don’t have any data on these products,” said Karen Riley, an FDA spokeswoman.

E-cigarette starter kits can cost $100 or more. The cigarette, which is legal to possess, is often made of three pieces: a replaceable nicotine cartridge, an atomizer and a rechargeable battery. The cartridges come in a variety of flavors, including strawberry cheesecake, chocolate and tobacco, and nicotine-free versions are available. The atomizer, or heating element, warms when the user inhales and uses propylene glycol, a liquid used in theatrical smoke machines, to create the smokelike vapors.

The odor, nearly undetectable, is not immediately offensive to those nearby, the way cigarette smoke can be to nonsmokers.

Does FDA have a say?

President Barack Obama has said that he will soon sign legislation to give the FDA power to regulate tobacco. But that new law includes no guidance specific to electronic cigarettes.

North Carolina lawmakers recently passed their own smoking law — a ban on smoking in most bars and restaurants, starting next year.

N.C. Sen. William R. Purcell, who sponsored the legislation, said that he had not heard of e-cigarettes until last week. The law defines smoking in part as “any lighted tobacco product,” so Purcell thinks the new law, which takes effect Jan. 2, would not apply to e-cigarettes.

Former smokers such as Moss and his friend Wes Clark of Morrisville like the way e-cigarettes provide an experience akin to smoking a regular, or what they call an analog, cigarette. Nicotine gums and patches deliver the nicotine, but without the routine that comes with traditional smoking, said Clark, 37. After years of smoking, the behaviors that go with it, including stepping outside for a cigarette or watching the exhaled smoke, become a big part of the habit.

Unlike nicotine gums or patches, e-cigarettes have not undergone the clinical testing required for FDA approval. The agency thinks that e-cigarettes are a “drug-device combination product” and fall under its regulation, said Riley, the FDA spokeswoman.

One of the biggest American e-cigarette importers recently sued the FDA in an attempt to loosen the import restrictions.

For smokers only

Matt Salmon, a former Arizona congressman and current lobbyist who serves as president of the Electronic Cigarette Association, emphasized that his group specifically markets its product to committed smokers and only as an alternative to traditional smoking. Although some smokers say e-cigarettes have helped them quit smoking, the ECA does not claim its products can help people kick tobacco.

But “it’s clearly a product that doesn’t carry the known carcinogens that are in combustible tobacco,” Salmon said.

Jed Rose, director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, said his lab has done some testing of e-cigarettes that focused on the way they deliver nicotine. E-cigarettes don’t deliver all the cancer-causing agents that tobacco cigarettes do, but it’s not clear exactly what they put in the user’s body.

When asked whether e-cigarettes were safer than tobacco-filled ones, Rose said the required studies have yet to be done: “That’s a tough question to answer without safety data.”

Moss and Clark met at a coffee shop last week with a couple of other e-cigarette fans to swap flavored nicotines and discuss their hobbies. Both men are concerned that e-cigs might eventually be taken off the market.

Moss said he used to spend more than $600 a month for cigarettes for himself and his wife. The e-cigarette habit costs only about $150. And because the vapor has almost no smell, he has smoked his e-cigarette in a movie theater as well as on an airplane.

If e-cigarettes are declared illegal, he said, “we’ll go underground like anything else.”